Richard Ewen HUGHES


HUGHES, Richard Ewen

Service Number: 5296
Enlisted: 23 July 1915, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 22nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Echuca, Victoria, November 1891
Home Town: Yerong Creek, Lockhart, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: School Teacher
Died: Killed In Action, Bullecourt, France, 3 May 1917
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Shire of Nunawading Honour Roll, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

23 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Melbourne, Victoria
28 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 5296, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
28 Jul 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 5296, 22nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Themistocles, Melbourne
3 May 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 5296, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Bullecourt (Second)

Charlton School Teacher Departs

Richard Ewen Hughes enlisted whilst working as a High School teacher at Charlton Higher Elementary School. At a recruitment rally held in Charlton, Victoria in July 1915, Richard spoke to the large crowd. His words were reported in the local newspaper.

"Mr R. E Hughes of the Charlton High School staff, who has enlisted, said that six months ago he had almost made up his mind to join, when ambition said, “Finish your studies and fight later.” Thank goodness he had a conscience. He thought the matter over and heard the call “go now and not when it may be too late.” (Applause) He did not think the Allies could be beaten, but if people delayed in enlisting it would mean lots of valuable lives. He felt it was an honour to occupy the position of the men who had fallen. (Hear, hear). They should also make it their ambition to stand shoulder to shoulder with the men there now, and not wait till they had fallen. (Hear, hear).We were called on to fight for our own existence, and any man who had a grain of patriotism would fight for Australia. (Applause). Every young man who put the question to himself must feel that it was an honour to do as so many had done, and he trusted a great many more would do. He would rather die an Australian private than live to be an Australian millionaire and a coward. (Cheers)." (East Charlton Tribune, 21 July 1915)

Richard was held in high esteem by the staff, students and townspeople and received several parting gifts: a silver wristlet watch and cardigan jacket from the school staff, a pair of wire cutters from the students, and a razor and pipe from the Charlton Patriotic League. A large crowd was present at the train station including the school children to send Richard and several other soldiers off to camp. (East Charlton Tribune, 24 July 1915)

Showing 1 of 1 story


"...5296 Sergeant Richard Ewen Hughes, 14th Reinforcements to the 22nd Battalion, of Yerong Creek near Henty, NSW. Sgt Hughes enlisted on 23 July 1915 and embarked aboard HMAT Themistocles (A32) at Melbourne on 28 July 1916. He was killed in action on 3 May 1917 at Bullecourt, France and having no known grave is commemorated at the Villers Bretonneux Memorial." - SOURCE (